Photo of David M. Sidhu

David M. Sidhu

Assistant Professor

Degrees:Ph.D. (University of Calgary)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 1403
Office:Loeb A826
Website:Personal Webpage


I was born in Toronto and completed my undergraduate degree at York University. I then moved to Calgary to do my graduate work at the University of Calgary. After that I held a SSHRC-funded postdoctoral position in London at University College London. I joined the psychology department at Carleton University in 2022.

Research Interests

Broadly speaking I am interested in language and cognition, in particular how we process words and represent meaning. I have always been fascinated by connections across modalities: how a sound can seem “bright”, how an image can convey something abstract. This led me to my research focus on the multimodality of language. For example, some words “sound small”, or “feel smooth” as you say them. How do these multimodal properties affect language processing? Relatedly, some words imitate the things that they refer to (e.g., onomatopoeia like “splash” or “meow”). Are these kinds of words processed differently? What does this mean for the development and evolution of language? I have also had a long interest in the fields of embodied cognition and conceptual metaphor theory.

Research Topics

language processing; sound symbolism; iconicity; embodied cognition

Recent Publications

Sidhu, D. M., Vigliocco, G., & Pexman, P. M. (2022). Higher-order factors in sound symbolism. Journal of Memory and Language. doi: 10.1016/j.jml.2022.104323

Sidhu, D. M., & Pexman, P. M. (2022). Is a boat bigger than a ship? Null results in the investigation of vowel sound symbolism on size judgments in real language. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. doi: 10.1177/17470218221078299

Sidhu, D. M., Westbury, C., Hollis, G., & Pexman, P. M. (2021). Sound symbolism shapes the English language: The maluma/takete effect in English nouns. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. doi: 10.3758/s13423-021-01883-3